Series Review: Watchmen – Season 1 (2019)

That’s right, it’s not just christmas contrivances you’ll get. Regular reviews will show up too, I ain’t forgettin’ my roots. So, let’s talk about a comic book thing.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Watchmen” season 1!

Set in an alternate version of 2019, “Watchmen” follows a whole bunch of people, as they try to navigate the strange and intense happenings of this world they live in. And that’s pretty much all I’ll say in regards to explaining the core plot, because it’s such a weird and unique experience that if explained further, it would risk kinda ruining it. But I’ll say that the ways it ties into the classic comic book are really neat, and even looking at it without really knowing much (if anything) about the comic, it’s still a highly entertaining and unique journey that has a satisfying beginning, middle, and end.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, colorful, and just really interesting. Regina King plays Angela Abar, an undercover police officer who more or less serves as the main protagonist of the story. She’s tough, but she does also have a vulnerable side that makes her feel more human and relatable. And King is great in the role. And that’s all the cast I’ll go into, as some reveals are better left experienced (kinda like the plot). But I can say that the cast is filled out with people like Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Sara Vickers, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Louis Gossett Jr, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tom Mison, James Wolk, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, and good god damn, they did a phenomenal job with it. They do some tracks that are quite exciting and cool-sounding, while also providing some tracks that are a bit more dramatic and emotional. They have created a score that not only covers every emotion one needs created for a show like this, but also fits the weird and unique style of everything else in the show. There’s also some licensed tracks used throughout, and they work quite well in their respective scenes too. So yeah, this show has good music.

Based on the classic DC Comic by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore, “Watchmen” was developed for HBO by Damon Lindelof, who also served as lead writer, while giving directing duties to a whole bunch of other people. And the craft on display here is absolutely superb, creating a world that is familiar (thanks to it technically still being earth), and yet a bit alien, thanks to its awesomely off-kilter tone. The directing is energetic, but also suspenseful, fun, and engaging. The cinematography too is stunning, giving us some great lighting and framing. And with all this said, episode 6… some of the best craft in a tv episode this year, from the shots, to the editing, to the directing… it’s fucking spectacular.

This show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 85/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Watchmen” is one of the best new shows of 2019. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great writing, directing, cinematography, and editing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Watchmen” is a 9,90/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Watchmen” season 1 is now completed.

I know I called this season 1, but I sincerely hope there are no more seasons. This is a perfectly contained package.

Movie Review: The Homesman (2014)

Something something, Markus likes westerns.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Homesman”.

After three women goes mad from living very tough lives they have to be transported to Iowa. So a woman named Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) volunteers to take on this daunting task. However, she soon realizes that she might not be able to do this alone, so she employs a low-life drifter named George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to help her out. So now we have our western-drama. And I’d say that it’s an interesting plot. It’s very serious and and at times even a bit disturbing, and overall it is very well told. My main issue with it is the first half which meanders quite a bit. I get that this is a simple road movie set during the old west, but even I feel like it doesn’t get very far plot-wise during that first half (a little less than half to be a bit more fair, but shut up). But when we get into the second half the plot picks up a bit more and I found myself really invested in the journey. And just to be clear: The first half isn’t bad… just a little bit too slow… a little bit.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. Hilary Swank is great as Mary Bee Cuddy, giving a vulnerable yet determined performance. Tommy Lee Jones is great as George Briggs, playing him as a kind of pathetic but still tough and semi-honorable man. Then we have the three crazy ladies (that is what they are, shut up), played by Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, and Sonja Richter. And they’re all great in their respective roles. They don’t say a lot, but they give great performances nonetheless. Then there are a bunch of good supporting performances throughout from people like Evan Jones, William Fichtner, John Lithgow, James Spader (his Irish accent isn’t very good), Jesse Plemons, Tim Blake Nelson, and Meryl Streep. Most of these actors aren’t in the movie for very long, but when they are… they’re good.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was really good. It was very dramatic and emotional, often adding to the quality of the various scenes in here. Sure, a lot of the music sound like stuff we’ve heard in other western-dramas, but that doesn’t make the music any worse… ’cause it’s really good.

This movie was directed by Tommy Lee Jones and I think that he did a really good job. The movie is directed with a lot of confidence which makes for an investing watch. It’s also a really good looking movie, having a bleak style that doesn’t feel too depressing and sad. I also feel like I should mention that this isn’t an action packed western. It’s a slow drama, with very few shots being fired. Just thought I’d mention that.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Homesman” is a really solid western-drama. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. My main problem with the movie is that first half which meanders a bit too much. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Homesman” is an 8,84/10. So while it is flawed I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Homesman” is now completed.

Sloooooow burn.

Movie Review: Minority Report (2002)

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With sci-fi being as big of a genre as it is I find it very interesting how many different types of movies you can find. You have your typical “Pew pew” sci-fi like “Star Wars”. Then you have the more methodical and realistic/dramatic sci-fi like “Moon” or “Sunshine”. Then we have the kind of sci-fi that falls somehwere inbetween. It is action, but it is also realistic/dramatic. And that is the type of sci-fi we are taking a look at today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Minority Report”.

In the future, crime has been completely eliminated! And by crime I mean murder and by completely I mean in Washington D.C. Let me elaborate; there are these things/people called “Precogs” who can see murders before they even happen. So then it is up to a bunch of police(ish) officers to locate said murder and prevent it. And in this movie you follow Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) who one day gets accused of committing a murder… in the future. So now he is on the run, trying to clear his name and find out what the hell is going on. Okay, so it sounds like a sci-fi version of “The Fugitive” at first, but when you watch it this movie feels very fresh and original in it’s execution. Not only does the story present an interesting chase thriller, but it is also a story of human emotion which director Steven Spielberg is excellent at showing in his movies. The movie also gives us an interesting look at the future that really hasn’t been done before(ish). It is a very thought-provoking movie with a lot of good emotion and thriller elements behind it’s story.

Since this is a Spielberg movie, you know the characters will be really good. That is somethign I really respect about Spielberg, he makes sure his movie are more about the characters rather than the presented theme of the movie (theme of this is sci-fi chase thriller). So I am glad to see that the characters in this movie are as interesting as in his other movie. Tom Cruise is excellent in the lead role as John Anderton. He has to show a lot of emotion but also a lot of authority in his role and he does it perfectly. Colin Farrell also plays in the movie as this snarky/asshole inspector guy, and he’s great. The third actor I wanna go in depth with is Samantha Morton who plays the Precog Agatha. Holy shit, she is amazing in this movie. She shows off as much emotion as you can and she also manages to be emotionless at the same time and I honestly think she was worthy of at least an Oscar nomination because she was amazing. Every actor in the movie was in fact great, they all did a great job.

Like in most Steven Spielberg movies, the score was done by the one and only John Williams who once again blew us away with his amazing talents as a composer. The score is adrenaline pumping, the score is heartfelt, it is suspenseful, it is everything you need for this type of movie. In other words: it is fucking great!

Like i have stated about 40 fucking times already, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and he did a terrific job doing it. His shots look great and he really managed to keep my attention throughout the movie. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski was also pretty fantastic. The combination of Spielberg’s direction and Kaminski’s cinematography gave the movie a unique look that I have never seen in any other movie which gives it a bit of an edge over other sci-fi movies. Also, this movie is apparently based on a story by Philip K. Dick who also did the story for “Blade Runner”. Remember, he only created the story, not the screenplay. And in other news, I should probably go and read some of his books/stories soon.

This movie has been very well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound Editing.

“Minority Report” is a very original sci-fi movie with a thought-provoking story, excellent performances, fantastic music, fantastic direction and cinematography and some genuine suspense. Time for my final score. *Ahem*… My final score for “Minority Report” is a 9,86/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Seal of Approval

Review of “Minority Report” is completed.

Murder…

 

 

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk (2008)

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We all love Marvel, that is a fact. Sure, everyone got different favorites, but we all love Marvel in general. You can (for the most part) never fault them for making something horrendous that no one will like. And I also think we can all agree there has never been a proper Hulk movie. I mean, how do you make a movie about a green raging goliath but keep it interesting? Well the movies from the 70’s and 80’s are not really what we are looking for at least. And the Ang Lee directed movie from 2003 was just kinda boring (Even though the comic book based on it was amazing). But that movie did not do too well with critic and stuff, so of course people thought something in the vein of “Making a good Hulk movie is impossible… we will never get one”. Then five years later comes a new Hulk movie that gets people thinking “Hmm… maybe there’s hope after all!”. And that movie is the one we’re talking about today!

Hulks and She-Hulks… “The Incredible Hulk”!

Anyone who knows about the backstories of the biggest Marvel characters of course know the story of the Hulk. Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) tries some weird experiment on himself to find a cure for gamma radiation but it goes a bit wrong and he gets a power which turns him into a giant green rage monster whenever he gets angry (Or as this movie makes it seem; When his pulse goes over 200). He also has a loved one named Betty (Liv Tyler). So after Betty’s father the General (William Hurt) finds out about Banner and his powers, Banner runs off. And that is basically what we get from the backstory that is featured in the opening credits of this movie. But the actual movie is set after that. Bruce is in hiding in Brazil where he works at a soda factory. One day the U.S. soldiers who have been looking for him for a few years finds him, led by Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), Bruce has to escape back to the U.S. to find help and a potential cure for his Hulk powers. And that is basically the main story(ish). And while it may not sound interesting coming from me, it is actually very well done with a few twists and a good execution. I especially like how they went with the thing of Bruce learning to kind of control his anger and heart rate with the help of meditation and breathing exercises, it gives a lot more depth to the character. I also like the whole sort of “On the run, hiding from the army who wants to weaponize my ultra dangerous powers” story. I don’t know why, but it makes the whole thing moe interesting to me. And I gotta admit, there was a part of the story which I will not spoil that I was not particularly interested in. I am just gonna say it involves one of the characters who’s name is on the poster. And no, it is not Bruce.

The characters were okay I guess. They were not bad, they just didn’t interest me that much. Sure, Bruce Banner is one of the most complex characters ever and I did enjoy him in the movie… with a little help from him being played by Edward Norton. But I didn’t feel too invested in the other characters. Sure, Emil Blonsky was pretty cool, but that was mainly because he got a fair amount of screen time and I like Tim Roth as an actor. Overall… the characters were okay.

The music… epic orchestral pieces. For the battle and chase parts, indeed. But then we had some strangely suspenseful tracks for when Bruce was trying to stay hidden and run away from the soldiers who were chasing him. So yeah, I really liked the music.

I have to admit, the camera work in this movie was pretty damn good. There were a few cool landscape shots that looked really good and the rest of the camera work was pretty good. I also have to point out that the CGI wasn’t too shabby either! There isn’t too much more to say either than there are no less than THREE cameos in this movie that were pretty cool to have. Sure, one of them was the obvious Stan Lee cameo that every Marvel movie has, but there are two more that were really cool and pretty surprising. I’ll give you a clure to one of them… the original Hulk. The other one you will see for yourselves why it is so cool.

Time for the more than average reception for “The Incredible Hulk”. On Rotten Tomatoes we have a 67% score. On Metacritic we have a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave this movie 2,5/4 stars. On imdb.com this movie has a score of 6,9/10.

I would honestly like to say that this movie is the optimal Hulk solo movie. I am not kidding about that, the chance of making a Hulk solo movie that is better than this is incredibly slim. So now… time for the final score! My final score for “The Incredible Hulk” is an 8,72/10 and a recommendation to buy this movie. While it is not perfect and could definitely be better it is still a movie with a good story, good performances, good special effects and Edward fucking Norton!

“The Incredible Hulk” is now reviewed.

I honestly think that Edward Norton is the best Bruce Banner ever. Sure, I really liked Mark Ruffalo in “The Avengers” as well, but I think Norton fit a little better for the character.

Movie Review: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

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The Coen brothers…I don’t know what to say. They make weird, funny, cool movies. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of their 1998 classic “The Big Lebowski”. I also really liked their version of “True Grit” that came out in 2010. But none of those movies are the film of this review. Today we are talking about one popular, but not as much talked about shift-of-the-millenium movie.

Brothers and sisters…”O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

“O brother, Where Art Thou?” follows a group of escaped criminals. This group is made of the smooth, hair-gel obsessed Ulysses Everett Mcgill (George Clooney), the short-fused, impulsive Pete Hogwallop (John Turturro) and the not too bright but still good-hearted Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson). These men have escaped the law to go find a large treasure that Ulysses (usually called Everett in the movie) have talked about. So naturally they run, find a person who can get their chains off and then run off to find said treasure. And that is “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” in a nutshell. Sounds simple enough huh? Well that is what it is…simple. But in execution it does so much more and adds more meat to the bone than you’d imagine. Our “heroes” get put into different situations throughout the story that are just amazingly fun to watch. This story in it’s execution is really well done and just so funny. The story is simple, yet perfectly executed.

The characters are so colorful and hilariously original. Okay, original maybe isn’t the right word, but you get what I mean. Like in any Coen brothers movie they are unique and just so likeable. And the acting is really good in this movie. And that is something that is kind of difficult for me to say when it comes to comedies considering comedies aren’t ment to impress, just entertain. But when it comes to comedies from the Coens, they are usually well acted. But when it comes to characters in general I really enjoyed the hell out of them all. I especially enjoyed Tim Blake Nelson’s character. He was just this guy who wasn’t really too clever, so he was olways kind of oblivious to everything but never dumb enough to just be annoying. So yeah, I really liked the characters in this movie.

The music is in my opinion so damn good. And the fun thing is, there is not only music that’s been edited in, there is also a lot of times the actors just singing and playing it in the middle of a scene. But in general I really loved the soundtrack, it really worked for the overall feel of the movie. I will leave a link to the best song in the soundtrack…sung by the main three actors of the movie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH8AqsiF_rs

This movie is so well filmed that I just wanna appreciate every second of screen time…which I do. This movie looks beautiful. Also, this movie was ALWAYS on, it was never boring. It always had something happening which never got dull. Funny thing is, this is loosely based on the classic/epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer. For example, main protagonist of “The Odyssey” was named Ulysses and the main protagonist of this movie is also named Ulysses. There a lot more similarities which the Coens masterfully parody and I think they are kinda fun to look for.

Now for the reception for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”. Rotten Tomatoes has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic’s score for the movie is a 69/100. Roger Ebert gave this 2,5/4 stars and said this:

“wonderful in their different ways, and yet I left the movie uncertain and unsatisfied.”

imdb.com scored this with a 7,8/10. This movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars. Best screenplay based on previously published material and Best Cinematography.

I have thrown out some opinions on a few aspects of the movie and I am ready to hand out a score. My final score for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is a 9,69/10 which not only makes me recommend you to buy it but also makes me give this funny, well directed, well acted movie with great music the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“O Brother, Where Art Thou?” is at last reviewed.

Yo bro! Where are ya!?